Sunday, September 30, 2012

Freebie Flashback: Day 1

Happy Sunday My Sweet Friends,

I hope that you all have had a great weekend. Mine was only complaint is that it went too fast! I was just roaming around Teachers Pay Teachers in the shops of some of my favorite creators and I didn't realize how many freebies are out there that I didn't have. Then it got me thinking, I am constantly following new blogs & I don't always remember to go and look around everyone's shop when I start following them. I'm sure the same goes for my followers. So....I thought why not do a week of Freebie Flashbacks!!
Each night this week, I will feature one of my old freebies for you to grab in case you missed it the first time. You can never have too many freebies, right? :)
Tonight I am going to feature my "Stop Those Silly Blends" freebie. This is one of the first freebies that I created when I opened my TPT store last May! It is a word sort that focuses on ending blends. Please download if you don't have this already and ENJOY!!! 
Click HERE to get this from my TPT store for FREE!

Have a great evening!,

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fabulous Blogger Friday!!

Happy Weekend Friends!!,

There is such a sweet sound to the word "Saturday", I just can't even begin to explain! This week's featured blogger is one of my best blogger friends. We began blogging at around the same time & she has been such a help & inspiration to me! I am excited to feature her today! Please welcome Heidi...

Your Name/Name of Blog:
My name is Heidi and I blog at My (Not So) Elementary Life.

My (Not So) Elementary Life

Grade or Subject You Teach?
I graduated in December with my Bachelors in Elementary Education. I did some subbing and made my home in 1st grade. My fingers are crossed to be back there next year. I am currently waiting to hear back from a few different schools in hopes that I will for sure have a job next year. I am still busy creating away.

What inspired you to become a teacher?
During elementary school I had several AMAZING teachers and then there was one teacher who was absolutely horrible. I knew that no teacher should ever be like that and I knew that from that moment I wanted to be a teacher. I always loved school and couldn’t wait to go to school each day. That year I DREADED school. The next year my love for learning was reestablished. I wanted to be there for children and help them to love learning as much as I did. The kind of teacher I wanted to be has changed over the years going back and forth between elementary teacher and English teacher, but I knew my love for small children made it only obvious that I needed to be an elementary teacher. I have not doubted my decision one minute since I made it.

Describe your teaching "personality":
I have a joyful and unique personality in the classroom. I like students to have a good time in my classroom. The more students have fun while learning the more they seem to remember. If you were to walk into my classroom you would find me more than likely talking in strange voices and more than likely not sitting or standing in a normal way. The kids laugh at me and I am okay with that. When my kids are happy and learning I am happy.

What is your favorite subject to teach?
Language Arts hands down. I LOVE books and all of the strategies and lessons you can do with books.

What made you decide to begin blogging?
I actually started blogging as a way to journal things happening in my life, but then I found Pinterest and found amazing things posted by bloggers on Pinterest and became inspired to start my own teaching blog. I was going to combine both my personal life information and my teaching blog, but then realized I would be better off keeping the separate so I now keep two different blogs. I have so many ideas spinning around in my brain and being able to share them and maybe even help someone else out makes it worthwhile to me. Not to mention all of the great bloggy friendships I have created.

If you could give one piece of advice to your fellow teachers & bloggers, what would it be?
Do not be afraid to do something or try out something new, even if you have no one else on board with you. If you think it is something that is great then go for it and then if it works out introduce it to others. There are new teaching ideas being implemented in classrooms all over the United States. You could be the person who introduces a whole to concept to your school and it might make a world of difference.

Finish this sentence: You know you're a teacher when
you cannot wait until lunch and the end of the day only because you have to go to the bathroom.

Any personal links you would like to share with readers (TPT, TN, Pinterest, Etsy)?

Here is one of my freebies that is great for classroom management.

A big thank you to Heidi for letting me feature her. If you are interested in being featured on Fabulous Blogger Friday, please email me at

Have a Super Saturday!,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's ALMOST Friday...Time to Celebrate With a FREEBIE!!!

Holla!!! It's ALMOST Friday!!!,

Funny Weekend Ecard: I haven't been this excited about a Friday, since last Friday.

Now that I'm feeling a little more at ease with Common Core, I am busy at work creating resources. I feel like celebrating the upcoming weekend with a FREEBIE for you!
I created these Common Core Task Cards that I wanted to share with you for your read alouds! They are specific to 1st grade standards; however, after looking across the spectrum, these cards can be aligned to multiple grade levels. These cards are adapted from a great Common Core handout that I received from Miami-Dade's english department. These cards include tasks for the literacy and informational standards of common core. I recommend cutting them up and placing them on a keyring for easy use.
In celebration of over 800 followers and to show you how much I L-O-V-E my bloggy friends, I am giving these to you for free!!

Click HERE to get a copy from my TPT store!!
I'm also linking this up with Freebie Friday over at TBA!!
Freebie Fridays

I'll see you tomorrow for another edition of Fabulous Blogger Friday!!, 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Giving You Some More Common Core!

Hi Sweet Friends!,

Over the hump and through the rest of the week we go!! I feel like I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I am beginning to feel more organized and like myself again. With all of the changes going on this year, I have been stressing, but I'm not going to let anything get me down.
Yesterday, I promised you that I would share some GREAT common core resources with you! Our 1st grade team is working hard to implement Common Core this year. I found these resources to be extremely helpful, so I definitely wanted to make sure and share them with you!

My first stop on the Common Core train is Read Tennessee!

WOW! Common Core ELA Standards by grade level with corresponding lessons and activities.  This is an incredible resource!!
This is the most amazing website of Common Core resources. Each standard includes media, lesson plans, resources, and assessments. It's AMAZING!! :)

Next stop is ScootPad!

ScootPad is a FREE (you know we love free...) website that allows students to play games that are aligned to the ELA and math common core standards! You can sign your whole class up and it monitors the progress that each student makes toward the standards.

Next is ReadWorks!!

Unlimited access to Lessons & Passages for Common Core.  A Teacher's Dream - OMG - so excited to share this AMAZING & Free Resource for Common Core Reading Lessons K - 6.
With ReadWorks, you can find lessons based on Common Core standard, reading component, or grade. It is such an awesome site & you will love it. The resources are plentiful & be prepared to spend a lot of time on this site!

You will also need to check out Symbaloo!

Websites and Resources devoted to the Common Core.

Symbaloo is the place to go to find all of the Common Core resources in one place. You won't believe how many resources are on this one site!!

Last is a great website from my home state of Florida... Florida Center for Reading Research.

Florida Center for Reading Research

This website was designed with hundreds upon hundreds of reading interventions for teachers for all components of reading. Now each activity is aligned to the Common Core standards. Look no more! There is a plethora of activities for your Common Core needs.

Also, don't forget the Common Core Workbook that I posted about last night HERE!!
I received my first grade workbook last night & it is nothing short of amazing. There are a ton of activities for each common core standard, and I couldn't be happier with it.

Well that's about all friends!! I hope that you will find this post helpful in your hunt for Common Core Resources.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First Grade Common Core!!

Hello Friends, Lisa here!

I don't know about you, but Common Core has totally consumed me! I am spending my days and nights trying to find great resources. So imagine my excitement when I came across this gem:
It has 600 pages of Common Core activities, centers, posters, and assessments for Math and English...all for First Grade Common Core!! Not only do they have this for first grade, but kindergarten too. Imagine how many hours this workbook will save of planning. Hop on over and check it out!!

I was thinking...I have come across some amazing Common Core Resources lately that I want to share with you. So join me tomorrow for part 2 of this post where I share some of my Common Core great finds with you! :)

Have a restful evening!,

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Be a Buddy Not a Bully Winners and Halloween Book Linky!!

Happy Sunday Friends,

First, I just want to say a BIG thank you for all of your encouraging words yesterday. It was not easy opening up about my situation growing up and your words of support really helped me see that I am not alone.
Okay, as promised, I am using the random number thingamajig to give away 2 "Be a Buddy, Not a Bully" packets. So without further adieu...
Winner #1:
Stephanie from 3rd Grade Thoughts!!

Winner #2:
Ellen Yucht!!

I will be sending the packs your way soon ladies!! If you are interested in this pack, it is on sale for the rest of today. Click on the picture to check it out in my store. Thanks for helping to spread the word about bullying.

Next, I am linking up with Chrissy at First Grade Found Me for her Halloween Picture Book linky party!

I love this time of year!! Not only are the holidays approaching and the weather is changing, but I get to share all of these fun seasonal read alouds with my class. Here are some of my favorite Halloween read alouds:

I love reading Pumpkin Circle and Pumpkin Pumpkin to discuss pumpkins in depth. We go over the Pumpkin Life Cycle and I have my students complete a craftivity. Those 2 books are my must-reads!!
I always do a bat unit around Halloween and I love using Stellaluna with that unit!!

I love using Dem Bones as a part of a Halloween graphing activity. I order packages of candy bones from Oriental Trading and after reading this book to my students, we open the candy and graph how many of each candy there are. 

My students love Junie B. Jones!! She is hilarious!! This is one of my favorite Junie B. Jones read alouds for my class. I am going to begin reading it to them this week at the end of each day.

Do you have some favorite Halloween read alouds? Go and link up with Chrissy and share them!! :)

Have a great week!,

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bullying, a GIVEAWAY, and SALE!!

Happy Fall Y'All,

So it is officially fall, although in sunny Florida, I'm not quite feelin' it yet! This is definitely my favorite time of year. I love that my pumpkin spice coffee is back, the holidays are approaching, and the cooler weather is on the way (hopefully!).
Today, I'm here to share something very personal with experience with bullying. This is not easy for me to talk about, but I figured if I can open up to anybody about it, it would be you.
Anti-bullying awareness is something that I am very passionate about. When I went to my PTA convention over the summer, I went to a class where another county had put on an amazing anti-bullying program for their community and it hit home for me...because I, like many of you, endured bullying while I was growing up.

The neighborhood kids decided that I was their target for bullying when I was in elementary & middle school. I got called names, pushed around, picked on, you name it. It was the most horrible experience of my life and went on for years. It completely destroyed my self esteem and still affects me to this day.
No matter how good that I do, I still don't have the confidence in my abilities as a person. I have trouble trusting anybody or looking them in the eye, until I get to know them and their intentions. I would never wish feeling this way on anybody.

At 30 years old, I'm finally beginning to realize that I am a good person and that I didn't deserve to be treated the way that I was treated growing up. I am beginning to realize my self-worth. However, this is an experience that is stuck with my for life. It makes me angry and sad inside that I don't have the confidence that I see many of my friends have. With that being said, I am taking my experiences and turning it around to use as something positive. Our PTA is having a bullying & internet safety fair in January that I am helping to coordinate. I just received word yesterday that I received a grant for $250 to get materials for that night. I feel like the event is well on it's way.

I also created this anti-bullying program for any classroom:
Click on the picture to take a look.

October is anti-bullying month. I put every ounce of energy into this packet because it is something that is near to my heart. I am nothing but dedicated to educating children about bullying. I hear how much bullying is affecting children in our schools and society and it breaks my heart to know that these children may be affected in the same way that so many of us have been affected by it.
* I am giving away this packet to 2 people. Please leave your name, email and a comment below. I will pick the winner by rafflecopter tomorrow morning.
Also, I am having a sale in my TPT store today and tomorrow. Everything will be 20% off including my new bullying pack. Click on the picture to take you to my store.

Thank you for taking the time to read and listen,

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fabulous Blogger Friday + a SALE!!

Happy Friday Friends,
I'm back after a little unwinding today for another edition of Fabulous Blogger Friday!! Today I am featuring...

 from Always a Lesson
Always A Lesson
Grade or Subject You Teach?
3rd grade  (Ive taught 2nd, 3rd for 4 years and 5th)

What inspired you to become a teacher?
My fourth grade teacher Ms. Lofy made me realize learning can be fun. Since that day, I knew it was my dream job!

Describe your teaching "personality":
Stricter (darn those high expectations!), personable (I love to share stories that relate to the kids), and a bit sarcastic (hey, it keeps their attention!)

What is your favorite subject to teach?
Literacy... it just has so many facets I can get creative without being burnt out.

What made you decide to begin blogging? 
Through grad school and the National board process I got used to writing and reflecting. I started following blogs and decided I wanted to try my own! (I just reached my first milestone of 50 followers!!)

If you could give one piece of advice to your fellow teachers & bloggers, what would it be?
Be yourself!! Don't worry about the latest fads. Teachers: do what is best for your class at that specific time. Trust in yourself. Bloggers: Get creative and have fun! Who cares if you are the only one reading your posts- the process of writing is making you a better teacher and person so do not worry about your following. It will come as you continue to show who you are.

Finish this sentence: You know you're a teacher when:
You know you are a teacher when you refer to your students as your "kids," and people around you begin wondering how early you started having your 20+ children!! :)

Any personal links you would like to share with readers (TPT, TN, Pinterest, Etsy)?

Here is a freebie from Gretchen:

Click HERE to get the freebie!

A BIG thank you to Gretchen for letting me feature her. If you are interested in being featured for Fabulous Blogger Friday, please email me at

A quick note...I am participating in a FALL sale!!! :)

The awesome Casey over at Second Grade Math Maniac has organized this awesome sale. Click HERE to check out all of the sellers participating in the sale!!
Click on the picture to go and get yourself some products!! Happy Fall!! :)

Have a great evening!!,

Monday, September 17, 2012

What I'm Lovin'!!

Happy Monday Friends!,

I hope that your Monday is off to a great start!! I have had the best day of my life (besides those monumental life changing days--marriage and having my daughter). You will see why below...keep reading!
Today I am linking up with Megan at I Teach. What's Your Super Power? to tell you What I'm Lovin'!
I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

1. Okay, I just can't hold it in anymore...I found out today that I was voted Teacher of the Year!!! I think that I am still in shock and can't believe it. I feel so honored. I'm literally floating on cloud nine right now! I am very thankful to my friends who took the time out of their busy schedules to write the most amazing nominations for me. I am forever grateful!

2. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte!

I cannot live without coffee during the school day and now that the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back, I REALLY can't live without coffee!!

3. My Erin Condren planner... I have showed you this a few times but it is literally a lifesaver!! My schedule is extremely hectic and this helps me make sense of everything.

4. My Teacher Keeper

I mentioned a few months ago that I purchased this from Jessica Pollard. This has helped me be so organized this year. I highly recommend it. Click HERE to check it out!

5. My Highlight Your Paper Sign

I stumbled upon the highlight your name before you turn it in idea a while ago. * I can't remember who I got this from. If you know who I can credit, please let me know. I started using it last year & it has literally cut down on my "no-name" papers by 90%. It's a win-win situation. My students get to use markers and I don't get frazzled about figuring out whose paper it is! Love it!

Tell us what you're lovin' & link up with Megan from I Teach. What is Your Super Power?

Have a wonderful evening!,

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Show Some Random Love!!

Hello Wonderful Friends,

I'm stopping in today to give a shout out for a sweet friend, Alisha, over at The Bubbly Blonde. 
Her friend Tiffany has been diagnosed with Hodkins Lymphoma Cancer. It is in stage 3. She is raising money to help her friend with her medical expenses. For a donation of $20, you can get $200 worth of blogger products. So far she has raised approximately $4400. Please show some random L.O.V.E and head on over to donate. If you wish to donate more, you have the option to do so.
Click HERE to go to Alisha's post.

Have a wonderful evening!,

Friday, September 14, 2012

It's Fabulous Blogger Friday!!

Happy Friday Friends!,

It's Friday which means it is time for another Fabulous Blogger Friday!! The blogger I am featuring today is truly an inspiration to all of us. She has accomplished so much: National Board Certification, won a seat on the Lego Education Advisory Panel, and a runner up for this year's Fishman Prize. What really amazes me is that Sharon has accomplished all of this being blind. Read will be amazed. Do not miss the video at the end!

Please welcome
 Sharon Dudley

Name of blog:  
Teaching With Sight  (

Grade or Subject You Teach?

What inspired you to become a teacher?
I had a teacher who noticed I wasn't doing very well in social studies because of my blindness (there was so much text to read!).  The teacher put the social studies book on audio tape for me, and it helped me understand more material.  Listening to the teacher's voice on the tape and realizing how much her compassion and sensitivity changed my life made me decide to become a teacher.

Describe your teaching "personality":
My teaching personality is very loving.  Some of the children call me Mrs. Cuddly Dudley because I'm always patting them on the back or hugging them.  I really believe in the magic of a hug.  I think that a nice hug can set you up right for the whole day.  I'm also very dramatic in the classroom.  I like using puppets and the arts as well as funny voices and faces to teach everything from "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" to learning to count to 100.

What is your favorite subject to teach?
My favorite subject is reading.  This is really strange because I hated reading as a child.  I had such thick glasses, and I thought that most of the things I had to read were boring and dry.  I make guided reading books every night for my students, and I use their ideas to make books fun, motivating and magical. 

What made you decide to begin blogging? 
I was serving as a fellow teacher's informal mentor and she kept telling me that I needed to share my ideas with more people.  So I guess I have Lauren to "blame" for my new addiction.  It's very touching how so many people in the blogging community do not see my disability but just my ideas.

If you could give one piece of advice to your fellow teachers & bloggers, what would it be?
Use your strengths as much as you can in your classroom.  I love singing and dancing, and I try to incorporate them as much as I can in the daily life of the classroom.  I think it helps me to be confident, calm and collected.  Don't try to imitate anyone else - just be yourself.

Finish this sentence: You know you're a teacher when _____________________________.
you're out shopping, you see something cute or strange, and you think "How can I use that in my classroom?"

Any personal links you would like to share with readers (TPT, TN, Pinterest, Etsy)?

A big thank you to Sharon for letting me feature her! If you would like to be featured on Fabulous Blogger Friday, please email me at

Have a fabulous Friday!,

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tell Me Something Good

Happy Thursday Friends!,

We are ALMOST there!! The light at the end of the tunnel...Friday!!! 
I must admit it wasn't the easiest day of my students decided to give me a run for it this afternoon. Normally this wouldn't bother me except I'm overwhelmed with a million things at school, so the tears almost fell. I managed to hold it together and the day got better!
So, I figured that I need some positivity in light and to focus on the good things. That's why I was so thankful to stumble across this linky party from Jennifer at Rowdy in First Grade!

Something Good About School:
I feel like my students are starting to get my routines! We are getting through math pages faster and more accurately and centers was a HUGE success today. In Florida, we do the FAIR test, which is an individual test that I have to do with each student on the computer. It measures all areas of reading. I told my students today that I would be testing the entire centers time & that they needed to use a whisper voice. My students have needed constant reminders about volume throughout the week, but today, they were PERFECT!!! I couldn't have been happier. I think it's starting to come together!

Something Good About Home:
Everything is great at home!! I couldn't ask for a more wonderful and supportive husband and my daughter is just thriving at home and in preschool. I am so blessed that I couldn't just pinpoint any one thing that is great!! 
There's not much excitement to report at home, except that we have decided to try and add a new addition to our family. I'll keep you updated!! :)

If you have something good to tell, head on over & link up with Jennifer in Rowdy in First Grade.

See you tomorrow for Fabulous Blogger Friday!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kindergarten Common Core

Happy Wednesday Friends,

Whew over the hump we go! A show of hands for how many of you are using Common Core?
 I'm sure that many of you are using Common Core this year. I live in Florida and this is the first year that we are implementing it. I think it is a great thing for our country to be on the same page with what we are learning.
Not to say that it hasn't been overwhelming! We have been racking our brains looking for great resources and CHECK.THIS.OUT!!! This is what I found...
kindergarten common core standards workbook Free Kindergarten Common Core Workbook Giveaway

Now I teach 1st grade, so when I saw this, I was wondering how I was going to use this, but guess what? There is one for each grade level! It would be perfect to adapt some activities from this Kindergarten Common Core workbook to align to the first grade standards.
There are 600 (YES 600!!) pages of activities, worksheets, and assessments for Common Core. What a phenomenal resource for not only Kindergarten teachers, but also first grade teachers, because there is one for us also!! You must check it out!!

Have a great evening friends!,